Tips for contouring and highlighting your face


Let’s be honest, contouring and highlighting with your make-up isn’t the first thing you think of doing each morning. Frankly, it isn’t even something that I would even consider doing every now and then. However, with Fashion Week showcasing models storming down the catwalk with the perfect bone structure, it was something I couldn’t resist looking into. So let’s start with the basics…

What is contouring?

Contouring can change the shape and look of your bone structure by darkening specific areas. When contouring, use a matte bronzing powder like Models Prefer Professional Mineral Bronzer Powder, or a foundation that is a shade darker than your natural skin tone. We like Bobbi Brown Luminous Foundation. To apply, use a flat contouring brush such as M.A.C Large Angled Contour Brush.

What is highlighting?

Highlighting allows you to flaunt your favourite features by lightening areas of your face. When highlighting, use a lightweight concealer or foundation such as MeMeMe Flawless Concealer, or Estée Lauder Ideal Light Brush-On Illuminator. To apply, use a flat foundation or concealer brush.

Top tip: always contour to begin, then highlight after.

Here’s how to contour and highlight various parts of your face…


Contour: shade each side of the nose to make it appear thinner and elongated. Use your finger to blend downwards onto your cheeks for a natural effect. 

Highlight: lightly apply your highlighting product down the centre of your nose, from the bridge to the tip. If you want to make your nose appear smaller than it is, don’t highlight the tip simply blend your highlighter along the bridge of your nose.


Contour: to make your eyes appear further apart and open up your face, add a dark shade to the end of your eyebrows at your temple.
Highlight: to open up your eyes, you’ll need to highlight your brow bone. To do this, apply your highlighting shadow (can be shimmering or matte, depending on what you prefer) directly under your eyebrow along the arch, as well as in the inner corner of each eye.


Highlight: to make lips appear more luscious, blend some highlighter into your cupid’s bow and right on the tip of your chin.


Contour: shade underneath the cheekbones to give the appearance of more prominent bone structure. A key tip is to hold a pencil from the top of your ear to the corner of the mouth and blend your contouring product in this angle.

Highlight: shade your chosen highlighter along the upper edges of your cheekbones. Apply a light concealer just underneath the eyes to give them extra prominence.

Top tip: the key to flawless contouring and highlighting is to create a natural look. To perfect this technique, remember to blend, blend and blend!

Do you contour and/or highlight your face? What are your tips for contouring and highlighting?

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